Breast Cancer Awareness month serves as a reminder for all women to stay informed about breast cancer, with an emphasis on prevention, early detection, and screening. Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer for women in the US, second only to skin cancer. Since there are 220,000 new cases of breast cancer reported each year, knowing how to reduce the chances of getting breast cancer by making smart lifestyle decisions and performing regular self-exams can make a difference.
Breast Cancer Prevention
While there is no absolute way to prevent breast cancer, there are ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
The American Cancer Society found that the risk of getting breast cancer is 1.5 times higher in overweight women and twice as high in obese women. It’s never too late to start working towards a healthy weight. Sticking to a weight-loss routine will help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Get Regular Exercise
Among the other benefits of regular exercise, such as weight loss, immune system boost, and keeping bones strong, regular physical activity can lower chances of developing breast cancer. Studies have found that women who exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day lower their risk of developing breast cancer by 30-50%.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
Choose foods and beverages in healthy amounts. Most doctors recommend eating at least two and a half cups of fruits and vegetables a day. Cut back on sugary and high-fat snacks and stick to foods that are rich in fiber and antioxidants, which have been shown to decrease the risk of cancer and protect the body from other chronic diseases.
Limit Alcohol Intake
The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. It is recommended that women limit themselves to no more than one drink per day.
Aside from its numerous other adverse health effects, smoking also increases the risk of breast cancer.
Every woman has a 1-in-8 chance of developing breast cancer. The sooner breast cancer gets diagnosed, the better likelihood of a successful treatment. Performing regular breast self-exams is one of the best defenses against breast cancer and the best way to catch it in its early stages. Currently, over 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are self-detected.
The Keep A Breast Foundation Check Yourself! App, which is available on iOS and Google Play, can send you automatic self-check reminders every month with step-by-step instructions on how to perform your breast exam.
It is really important to be vigilant about breast cancer detection. Women should consult their doctor if they notice any changes in their breasts.